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Photographer: Ryan Azia
In early June of 2020 The Dapper Luq Collection released its fun, sexy and functional short and skirt variations of the suit. The new suit variations premiered in the colors blue and pink. These colors were chosen to challenge the stigma that women can only wear black, blue or gray suits. Utilizing these bold colors I was able to bring my vision to life.
Memorial Day is on the horizon and for us in the United States, this marks the unofficial beginning of summer. For the dapper gents, it is the perfect time to break out your all white slacks and pair them with an amazing blazer.
As I mentioned last week, this Spring is unlike any in recent history. However, things are starting to change and people are preparing to head outside. For me, I'm getting all my spring suits in order.
This spring is unlike any I have ever experienced in my lifetime. For the first time, going outside is somewhat discouraged, unless you have a real need to. Spring 2020 was met with a pandemic caused by COVID-19 and the normal way we have gone about our lives has changed. Despite the changes, I feel we must continue to push forward and hopefully look well doing so. One of my spring staples for looking and feeling good is a nice checkered blazer.
Since starting Dapper Luq brand back in 2014, I have always had the dream of designing my own collection. After meeting designer Clavon Leonard back in 2017 and working with him as his stylist, I really began to learn the process. When I retired from the military in January 2020, my mind was set and I officially began the process of designing my own men and women’s suit collection.
On January 22, 2020 with Clavon Leonard I traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to select fabrics and create my Spring/Summer 2020 Collection. My main goal was to design a clean and functional suit collection for men and women, but to use colors and patterns that are not normally used for suits. After 2 days of venturing through the fabric markets of Dhaka, I was able to find an array of colors and patterns I was happy with. Using local tailor Hannan Khan, I was able to make 22 complete suits prior to leaving Bangladesh on Jan 30th.
Prior to going to Bangladesh to work on my collection, Clavon and I secured a position for the Dapper Luq Collection in the 2020 Oran Fashion Week in Algeria. On March 7, 2020, I packed my bags, which included my collection and began my trip to Oran, Algeria. After landing in Oran, I was met by Oran Fashion Week coordinator Nasro Toumiat. This was a new experience for me, because I have never arrived at an airport and had someone waiting with my name on a sign, of course I had to take a picture of the experience. Nasro then took me and another designer from Morocco to the Vent-Dome Khaled Hotel & Spa to check+ in. Fortunately all the events were held at the same hotel we were going to be staying at.
Like many fashion weeks, Oran Fashion Week started with press conferences and interviews with local news outlets. The 2 languages that are predominately spoken in Algeria are French and Arabic. Lucky for me many of the younger folks in Algeria are big fans of English and were eager with me. After 2 days of press conferences and workshops, Oran was ready to showcase the designers on the runway. I was scheduled for day 2 and would be the final designer that day. The day prior to my runway debut, I selected and fitted all the models that would be walking for me. All the models that were used for Oran Fashion Week were under Glamor Model Agency in Algeria.
Day 4 of Oran Fashion Week, and the day I would be introducing the Dapper Luq Collection to the world. For me it was a surreal experience but one I definitely felt I was ready for. The years of blogging, styling and viewing fashion shows, I fealty I was ready. The models wore my items well and the crowd loved my looks. After my collection was complete I received a lot of complaints from the crowd and was asked to take pictures with them. Oran Fashion Week was my first, but it most certainly will not be my last fashion show I will feature my collection. I was originally scheduled to follow up by showcasing my collection in Nairobi, Kenya for E Fashion Week, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, mostly all major events have been postponed. For now, I will embrace the success of my first show and focus on how I can make the collection better.
Hello gentlemen, Summer is right around the corner and I am challenging you to be bold in your color choices.
As you all are well aware, I am currently a Virginia resident and although we are deep into Spring, the outside temperature can still be pretty cool. So, for me a lightweight and bright colored sweater is a great option.
Spring is officially here and now is the time for bright colors and light fabrics. With early Spring still being cool, it's a good idea to layer, but you want to utilize light fabrics such as cotton and linen.
The one thing that is certain in both Virginia and in life is that there will definitely be rainy days. Regardless of the weather outside, you must still get out there and do what needs to be done while hopefully dressing well.
By far one of my favorite coats is the trench coat. When ever I wear this lightweight all weather coat, I get all kinds of compliments.
Fashion Model, Blogger, & Connoisseur.